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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Night Hawk frozen dinner soars on flavor, aesthetically shits on windshield

I promised yesterday that I would eat and review a Night Hawk frozen dinner. Being a man of my word, I rolled into Kroger today, slammed $2.15 on the counter and picked one up. Specifically, it's a Night Hawk "Taste of Texas" frozen dinner. The box describes it as a "Charbroiled Beef Patty with Gravy, Western Style Beans and Cornbread." Federally mandated nutrition facts are as follows:
Calories: 340 Calories from Fat: 130 Total Fat: 15g (23% of RDA) Saturated Fat: 5g (25%) Cholesterol: 65mg (22%) Sodium: 850mg (35%) Total Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) Dietary Fiber: 3g (12%) Sugars: 3g Protein: 20g Vitamin A: 8% Vitamin C: 4% Calcium: 10% Iron: 20%
I calculated the Weight Watchers Points value at 7, or 23% of my daily allotment of tasty vittles. Next, the hype. Night Hawk's package declares:
Charbroiling... it's what has made the Night Hawk Flavor Unique for over 35 years! Every Night Hawk meal features a top quality meat entree that's been charbroiled over an open flame to sear in the natural juices and that great charbroiled flavor. And, Night Hawk's homestyle side dishes perfectly complement every meal. Night Hawk meals are delicious and easy to enjoy because we take the time to prepare our meals the way would would...if you had the time.
Now, the review. The meal predictably is delivered in a thin cardboard box, festooned with stylized flames and pictures of a delicious meal served on an attractive stoneware plate with colorful vegetable garnish. After lustily tearing the box open, I discovered that the actual meal is served in a three-compartmented polyethylene terephthalate tray with a thin wrapper on top. A few wrapper punctures and 2800 microwave watt-minutes later, lunch was served:
Yummy. The subject.
The meat was excellent, once I let it cool to below fusion temperature. Though the package lists the patty's ingredients as "beef, water, textured vegetable protein," It was an attractive piece of meat, with grill marks that didn't look very fake. It had a good beefy flavor without the overwhelming salty taste of most TV dinners, and it was properly juicy, not soggy or rubbery. Good texture. The gravy had separated into its components, Brown Liquid Stuff and Translucent Gelatinous Stuff. Pretty nasty looking. After a quick mixing with a fork, however, it turned into decent, but unremarkable brown gravy. The beans were nearly indistinguishable from Ranch Style beans in flavor and appearance, though the sauce was somewhat congealed. The good people at Night Hawk would do well to thin it out a little bit. The cornbread was mangled beyond all recognition. Somehow, the upper half of the cornbread nugget had migrated beyond its borders, sticking to the plastic wrap. After cooking, this portion was somewhat rubbery, but served nobly in its function of sopping up the newly reconstituted brown gravy. The bottom half of the cornbread, on the other hand, wasn't very functional. It was hard, crispy, and not at all suited for soaking up remnants of gravy and congealed bean vehicle. The color was perfect, though. Alas, I mistakenly selected probably the only Night Hawk meal that doesn't come with the vaunted Steak Sauce Packet, so no review on that. All in all, it was pretty good, but I'm still kinda hungry. Appearance: (out of four) Taste: Nutritional Value: Bang for the Buck: Overall:


At 7/13/2005 9:36 PM, Blogger Rorschach said...

only four "bangs" for your buck? after allthose beans i would have expected more bangin.....

At 7/15/2005 6:34 PM, Blogger Rob Booth said...

All in all, it was pretty good, but I'm still kinda hungry.

Well, I just picked up four dinners for $1.50 a piece at the Wal-Mart, so I suppose it would economical to eat two for dinner. What I do is have a salad before and a piece of bread with. That satiates me.

At 9/22/2009 10:45 AM, Blogger carol said...

it is good, conventional oven is great for the cornbread, microwave will ruin it.


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